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University of Otago students Rosie Dossor and Cameron Cunningham were interns together at Deloitte over the summer, when they got talking about how much time they had on their hands at university.
Ideas were thrown around and they landed on the idea of establishing an investment club.
Last week, the Otago Student Investment Fund was officially launched at a function at Forsyth Barr, which has sponsored the fund.
The aim of OSIF was to equip students with real-world experience in financial investment analysis. It provided an opportunity to develop their understanding of financial markets by collaborating with industry professionals and other students.
Ms Dossor, who is co-president with Mr Cunningham, said they discovered similar clubs existed at Auckland, Canterbury and Victoria universities but there was nothing at Otago.
Fellow student Jay Sprott said the focus was on education, "rather than a way to make money". Members did not invest their own money in the club; the money was sponsored by companies like Forsyth Barr.
At the start of each month, a sector of the month would be released — healthcare was kicking it off for August.
Members would decide which companies they would like the fund to invest in, within that sector, from within the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.
Results would be collated and the most popular companies would then be voted on. Forsyth Barr was providing research resources, and a final vote would be held and a decision made whether to invest or not that particular month.
The intention was to have a portfolio that would continue to grow into the future; any returns would be reinvested in the fund, so it was "kind of like a big cycle", Ms Dossor said.
And it was hoped the skills gained from membership of the club would be transferable towards every day life. "We’re pushing it as you gain real life experience and learn by doing. It doesn’t really matter if we make a mistake, ultimately we’re going to learn," she said.
Mr Sprott said interest had been expressed not just from commerce students but also other departments at the university and they were delighted with the turnout at the launch and the genuine interest shown.
One of the first challenges was to ensure the club catered "for everyone". There would be some students keen to know the intricate details of investing in the sharemarket, and others that just wanted to know the basics.